Customer Success Story: Région Guadeloupe

“Scaleway allowed us to advance very quickly. Support teams are always available, either to allow us to unblock urgent situations, or to advise us on the latest innovations. It’s perfect; tailor-made for our needs.” Henri Ferreira, Chargé de Projets Direction Générale des Services, en charge de la Cyberdéfense et de l’Intelligence Territoriale (General Management Project Manager, in charge of Cyberdefense and Territorial Intelligence), Région Guadeloupe

Challenges & context

Initially, we were 100% on premise. We had already been working with Scaleway for 6-8 months, but on a small scale, on lab and R&D aspects. Then on November 21, 2022, we were cyber-attacked, and the next day we decided within hours that we would switch to the cloud. Otherwise, we would have made the transition (to the cloud) much more slowly.

We weren’t aware of the full extent of the attack. So we decided to start with something completely new, and to move the infrastructure up to the cloud as quickly as possible. Hadrien and Philippe at Scaleway immediately reassured us, and helped us from the outset to do just that.

25,000 people (high school students, citizens and businesses) use the Guadeloupe Region's digital services, whether for the canteen, school transport, badging in reserved areas or applying for grants and subsidies.

After the attack, we needed to recreate everything: set up the infrastructure, with Scaleway - rent Elastic Metal servers, Instances, very quickly - so that then the publishers of the fifteen or so software applications we use could reinstall them.

All the private cloud infrastructure was available from Scaleway within a few hours. Within ten days, we were able to put our financial system back together, i.e. we were able to pay our suppliers, salaries, subsidies, etc., in full. Then the last service was set up three months later, in February 2023: that of aid, where future baccalaureate holders can apply to study in Quebec, for example.

Today, all our infrastructure goes through SCW: we no longer have anything on premise.


Scaleway products used:

  • 83 physical servers (Elastic Metal)
  • 90 Instances (“of all kinds, including GPUs, because all of our data was encrypted, so we had to reconstruct and re-classify five million documents. With the help of AI, we were able to do just that”, says Ferreira)
  • IA resources also used to track logs and identify incoherences
  • Managed databases (Redis/PostgreSQL)
  • Load balancers, private networks …

    “…it’s easier to say which Scaleway products we don’t use!” (Henri Ferreira).

How Scaleway helped us to resolve our problems

We're with Scaleway for the long haul. We had to urgently rebuild the services - the plan was called "Resurrection" - but also make them better and more resilient. So now we’re hosted in two AZs (availability zones) - par-1 and par-2 - with high availability. We couldn’t have done this sort of thing without the cloud.

We have 150 services deployed today, and we're continuing to deploy more. Scaleway brings us something phenomenal: we don't have to worry about 'silly' [physical] things like air conditioning, floods, cyclones, electrical instability, server obsolescence… It relieves us of all the lower layers of management, and in the end it's a win-win situation, because it costs less than before.

We benefit from phenomenal flexibility. I've just received a request for additional servers from the IT director. In the former ‘legacy’ mode, we would have had to issue a call for tenders, starting a long cycle that could last two months. Whereas with the cloud, we can have the servers ready within one hour. And maybe that director will only need those servers for an hour, which is also fine.

This allows us to respond flexibly to the demands of Guadeloupe's citizens, simplifying their lives and those of our regional council staff. In particular, by relieving the latter of rather tedious tasks, they can spend more time with citizens.

Likewise, we don't use AI to reduce our workforce! Today, because it's so easy to ask a question on a website, that's generated a lot more grant applications than before. AI helps us to verify these requests, by automating, allowing us to validate the veracity of official documents, making sure we only keep personal documents for 2 years (RGPD) and so on.

Finally, we're fortunate that Scaleway has a number of AI customers, and this allows us to benefit from technological advantages that we wouldn't have had as quickly under the old system.

Why didn’t you prefer other cloud providers?

We submitted our request to all the French cloud providers (CSPs), and Scaleway came out on top, both on the legacy side (bare metal) and on advanced features (Instances, Kubernetes, load balancers, etc.).

When you migrate, many publishers say, for example, "no, I only support ESXI, I don't support Kubernetes." So we had to take this into account with regard to our legacy system.

Scaleway offers us the widest range of technological responses, from the simplest to the most complex, enabling us to adapt to all our publishers' needs.
What's more, the way the Scaleway system is made is the easiest for us to support. It took three of us to set up the infrastructure. Guadeloupe is the smallest region in France, with a low number of IT specialists in relation to its population. There are 400,000 of us, but like the others, we need an HR system, a financial system…

We need flexibility, and Scaleway was able to put itself at our level of understanding to be able to move forward very quickly; we needed this proximity, which we wouldn't have had with another hyperscaler.